I’m 53. That means I’m in the generation between the Boomers and the Millennials. I find that space an important one.
Each generation plays an important role in passing along knowledge, values, beliefs, worldviews, etc. In a best case scenario, that happens in homes and offices. If you’re a Boomer, born between 1946-1964, chances are this happened fairly seamlessly for you. That means your parents and bosses did their job.
As a Gen-X, born in 1968, I’ve noticed a breakdown. Whether it happened in Boomer land or my land, the seamless passing along of life’s need-to-knows is no longer a given. Why do I say this? Because we’re all saying it.
One way I hear and observe this is the rejection of Millennials (born between 1981-1996) by Boomers and vice versa. Why? Bunch of reasons. Tom Gimbel wrote this explanation:
Many baby boomers see millennials as impatient, unprofessional, and lazy, while millennials may see baby boomers as unapproachable or old-school.https://fortune.com/2017/04/01/leadership-career-advice-millennials-conflict-feud-mentorship/
These insights are barriers-barriers that can be overcome. One overcoming suggestion Gimbel mentions is the importance of setting success expectations. On this suggestion, I’d like to point something out to the Boomers. Root for the Millennials in your world. They may not do things like you, and that’s actually a pretty good reason to cheer them on.
While in Tucson for three nights recently, I watched one Millennial virtually and one in person doing some incredible work. And I thought to myself, I wonder how they are being treated by the Boomers in their world.
The first one was Tommee Profitt. A friend posted a video on Facebook from Profitt’s 2020 Christmas album. I hadn’t listened to the entire album, so I took the time one evening to listen on YouTube. Wow! What an inspiration. I hadn’t really paid attention to Profitt before this hearing, so I did the Google thing. As I read comments about his work, mostly moving and affirming, an occasional statement surfaced stating “he’s not for everyone.” I see that. But what gifts he is giving to the world. Those gifts are “thanksworthy,” from all generations.
That was Saturday night. The next morning I accepted a new acquaintance’s invitation to his church, Saint Philip’s in the Hills. Pleasantly, although the majority of attenders were older than me, there was a youthful presence on the stage. Most speakers in the service appeared to be younger than me. But the one who grabbed my attention was the Rector, Reverend Hendrickson. His reflection was memorable, relatable, engaging, and thought provoking. And the spirit in the room was supportive, celebrative, communal, unified, and worshipful. It appeared the Boomers in this church knew how to root for the Millennials.
On behalf of all generations, thank you, Tucson! You are living proof generations can thrive together!